Why Rolando Aarons' unfamiliar role could benefit his game long term

St James Park Two

The Newcastle United wide man is currently playing in their back-four.

Newcastle United winger Rolando Aarons has been used in a very unfamiliar position in recent matches, with the 20-year-old playing at left-back against Everton, West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea with varying degrees of success.

Against the Baggies Newcastle picked up a vital three points and a clean sheet but against Chelsea a week later they were hammered 5-1, with Aarons looking completely lost in defence.

As a result it is no surprise that Newcastle fans and former players alike are questioning why Magpies manager Steve McClaren is playing the youngster out of position, with Rob Lee recently telling the Daily Star it was ridiculous.

However, while for now all Newcastle fans are thinking about is their Premier League survival – and rightly so – Aarons’ stint in defence could ultimately improve his game.

After all, the best wingers are those who recognise they have jobs to do both in attack and defence, and there is no better way for the 20-year-old to realise the importance of tracking back than by being the last line of his own defence.

Playing wide men in full-back roles is nothing new and while McClaren should have signed some new defenders in January when he had the chance, do not be surprised if Aarons' temporary change of role has a long-lasting positive impact on his game.

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